Klein Constantia lies on the slopes of the Constantia mountain. Boasting magnificent views across the Constantia valley and over False Bay, it has often been described as one of the world’s most beautiful vineyard locations.
In June 2011 this historic property was snapped up by US citizen Zdenek Bakala and Charles Harman from the UK. They entered into an agreement and bought this precious little jewel of an estate from the Jooste family.
My personal experience with Klein Constantia and the Jooste family goes back to when we first arrived from Europe and my boys were placed at Western Province Prep School. One of the memories from Wetpups was the annual inter-house cross-country that was held on the estate. A rather gruelling experience for the juniors, running four kilometres through the magnificent vineyards but, it was a compulsory event and at the end of the day, boys will remember this forever. The parents on the other hand, loved this event, as they were invited to share a glass of wine in the cellars. This marvellous love affair with Klein Constantia wines had just begun for me.
This brings me to last Friday night. A number of friends, family, international globetrotters, entries in the Cape Argus and others, were all invited to join the new family owners of the Manor House in celebrating their acquisition of this magnificent estate. One lovely aspect of the evening was the mixing of all generations instilling the life and spirit of the party.
There is nothing small about Klein Constantia. Mathew Day, the head winemaker, explained with great enthusiasm that Klein Constantia in the 18th century produced a famous sweet desert wine, ‘Constantia’ renowned throughout Europe amongst the aristocracy and leaders of the time and that, once again, Klein Constantia is going for gold and reclaiming its former glory with the revival of their famous sweet wine.
Annalise Buchanan as usual excelled with her scrumptious canapés, while Carol Thorns and her own band Coda accompanied the fire dancers in an electrifying and fiery entertainment. There was one last surprise for the B!s to buzz about and that was DJ Didier, he always manages to get the right mix in music and raises the energy level to a high, even if it’s the early hours of the morning. Alas! It was time for QueenB! and her worker B!s to get back to the hive.
P.S. A close English friend of mine would have described the party as Grand!
Photos by Thomas Zwyssig and Charles Johnstone